Senator, lobbyist and hero of the scandalous chronicle Andrei Khazin can replace Vladimir Medinsky as Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation. At least, Hazin himself seems to be actively preparing the ground for his new appointment.
Andrei Khazin was twice elected a member of the Federation Council. True, from different areas, which is not very characteristic for the Federation Council (the senator still has to represent the region that nominated him, and not change them as annoying wives). However, he was remembered by the general public not because of his legislative activities.
Just a few months ago, Andrei Khazin tried to lead the Russian State University for the Humanities (RGGU). His former rector resigned, and the team planned to elect a new leader from among the scientific workers. The emergence of businessman Khazin among the contenders was a surprise. Even more surprising were his methods of struggle for power.
Members of the academic council of the RSUH declared to the Ministry of Education and Science that Andrei Khazin, during personal meetings and conversations, offered them a large financial reward and high positions in return for a “correct” vote. The scandal then went far beyond the university environment, and with the desired post Khazin flew – in the elections he lost to the dean of the chair of social philosophy Eugenia Ivakhnenko. That is, a person from the scientific world. According to the people familiar with Khazin, he is an intelligent and resourceful person, able to draw conclusions from any situation that is unpleasant for him. Even after losing, he only raises his stakes and goes ahead.
They say that Khazin’s new goal is the post of Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation. Andrei Khazin has long “cultivated” near-cultural themes, but still remains a man from the world of business, and not from the art world. Apparently, this is why the former senator fell into a new scandal, which in law enforcement bodies among themselves is already called “Museum business”.
Such friends – in the museum
Recently, on the site of the Moscow Pass project (the sale of maps, through which it is possible to go to most of the museums in Moscow and participate in excursions), a message has appeared that the project suspends its work in connection with the theft of goods and falsifications of signatures. One of the partners of the project is just Andrey Khazin.
But, there is a suspicion that Andrei Khazin was not robbed, but vice versa. At least, it is called as a person who brought all the liquid assets from the Moscow Pass and handed them to a third-party company – LLC Vector. Formally, Andrei Khazin has nothing to do with Vector LLC, the company was founded in 2011 by Evgeny Startsev (50% of shares) and Alexander Tarakanov (50% of shares). But the museum workers with whom Moscoe Pass worked earlier say that it was the person like Khazin who persuaded them to refuse to cooperate with former partners and switch to Vector LLC.
We have not been able to find out what is the attitude of Vector LLC to the creation of the Moscow Pass project and the museum community. Perhaps, these are the new partners of Andrei Khazin or simply “zitssredstryateli”, performing a purely nominal function with the real owner.
We did not get through to Andrei Khazin, but we contacted two other shareholders of WowT, the creator of the projects and the owner of the Moscow Pass and Piter Pass trademarks (Andrei Khazin 47.5% Alexander Pershikov 47.5%, Alexander Sapov 5%). Pershikov and Sapov declined to comment, saying that they first heard about Vector LLC and all the materials were handed over to the bodies of inquiry. Moreover, the co-founders themselves are waiting for the situation to be clarified by the police.
In the meantime, the situation looks like a certain Vector LLC, associated with Andrei Khazin, decided to oust WowT from their own project of Museum maps of Moscow and St. Petersburg.
It is characteristic that raiders’ seizure of museum cards does not attract a significant business project, the proceeds from which will cover the costs of criminal prosecution.
As experts assess, the main “gesheft” for Khazin may not be in material, but in career values. Projects in the museum industry should capitalize on the name of the businessman, and cleanse him of the recent scandal at the RSUH.
In other words, Khazin is trying to conduct his own re-branding and appear before the public not as a cheeky businessman who failed to gain brutal force and bribery to seize the rector’s post, but as a benevolent philanthropist, a guardian of cultural values and an idol of “museum aunts,” as he calls them. From this springboard you can take a new height – the post of Minister of Culture.
More statuses, loud and different
However, there is a big difference between such concepts as “culture” and “culture.” One of the key differences is that the world of culture touches for the most part with high materials, only having to do with the material side of the matter. This world is ignorant of advances and greed. The world of culture is based on budgets, patronage and connections. The heroes of “culture” earn millions and make a career where even recognized geniuses can barely make ends meet.
Which of these worlds is closer to Andrei Khazin, the reader can decide for himself. It is enough just to bring some facts from the biography of a businessman senator. His career began in the remarkable nineties when culture workers languished in poverty, and the most desperate workers quit their job at the conservatory, to go to Poland for cheap clothes and resell them in the markets.
It was then, at the age of 22, Khazin became deputy chairman of “Albim Bank”, and then continued his career as an investment banker in the bank “Moskva.Centr” and “Renaissance Capital”.
The first milylons quickly became the second and third. But the resourceful young man understood that capital would be well supported by status. And the young banker suddenly began to appear different diplomas, degrees and titles. Khazin in general is very fond of regalia. Even talking about his wife, he notes not her personal virtues, but a high origin. “The daughter of a major diplomat, the granddaughter of the academician and the great-granddaughter of the general, lived out of the first 17 years of her life abroad,” he told the Vedomosti newspaper.
As a result, by the age of 47 Khazin became the owner of several higher educations, the status of a full member of the Russian Academy of Arts, a professor at the Moscow State University. Lomonosov, chairman of the public council of the All-Russian Public Organization “Association of Lawyers of Russia”, Professor of the Higher School of Economics, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Cultural Center and the Moscow International Festival of Arts. S. Mikhoels and many other high-profile ranks.
In parallel Hazin published more than thirty scientific articles and works. And at the same time he was awarded a dozen orders and prizes – from the Order of Alexander Nevsky to the status of an honorary citizen of the city of Incheon (Republic of Korea).
We will not argue that all or some of them were acquired “for persuasiveness” (for money or by acquaintance), we would rather admire the ability of Andrei Khazin to succeed at the same time in a wide variety of fields. In addition to teaching, membership and leadership of public organizations, our hero was able to work two terms as a senator, and at the same time to become the owner of a family status of 172.88 million rubles.
Senator or lobbyist?
However, according to the official declaration, the contribution of Khazin to the family budget is not great – only 2 million rubles. All the rest, allegedly, earned the wife of Khazin, Elena Zotova. Who works Zotova, until the end is not clear. People close to Khazin call her a housewife.
The very happy husband says that his wife is a banker, and earned 170 million rubles for his “exceptional competence”. True, in which bank the former senator’s wife works, is not called.
But there is another, more realistic version of the origin of Hazin’s family income. It sheds light on the ambiguous methods by which a businessman goes to his goals.
The tax declarations under discussion refer to those years when Andrei Khazin was a member of the Federation Council. So, he had no right to engage in commercial activities and hold posts in commercial companies. Therefore, even if the senator personally earned 170 million rubles, he had no legal right to indicate them in his declaration.
As a rule, in such difficult situations, faithful wives come to the aid of their husbands, ready to assume the whole burden of husband capital.
The newspaper Kommersant recently set out to find out how effective Andrei Khazin was in the role of senator. According to the source of “Kommersant” in the Federation Council, one of the old residents in the Upper House of Parliament, in his first senatorial term, Khazin “did not become famous for anything special on this post.” For the second term, the reviews are no better: “it is impossible today to recall any interesting proposals of the senator in this area.”
Much more Andrei Khazin is known as a lobbyist for the financial company Uralsib. Employees of the company declare (the records are in the editorial office) that Khazin headed the Service of External Communications of FC Uralsib and engaged in GR (relations with state authorities) and PR (public relations). Probably, it was this activity that Hazin paid through his wife’s accounts.
It is the experience of the lobbyist, who is accustomed to achieving his goals through personal acquaintance, patronage and pressure, sheds light on the scandal with the RSUH and the Museum Affair. As the former senator’s acquaintances say, his talent is not at all in scientific research and public work. His true gift is in communication and the ability to put oneself to oneself. Hazin, of course, a man of charm and persuasive (you might think, Ostap Bender was not charming).
He easily enters into trust and quickly disposes people with his erudition, he will always have 2 – 3 interesting stories prepared for you, fascinating stories about cultural projects, photographs, medals and medals. All this should create the image of a competent, serious and enlightened person. Who can be trusted in business. And appoint to a high state post.
But this is only if you do not suspect the origin of diplomas and awards, do not know about the use of the status of the senator, about manipulating income declarations and about criminal scandals. Perhaps to clarify something about these suspicions, perhaps, one of the closest people esque-senator, his brother, the famous economist Mikhail Khazin. But, as the “Kommersant” newspaper found out, the brothers have not maintained communication for many years.